Group Energizer Ideas   

A-Z Relay Game (submitted by Cathy Sork, Ft. Vancouver H.S.) 
Divide the group into teams of 6-12 people. Each team will need a set of cards (at least 8.5” x 5.5”) with the alphabet on them. Place the teams on one end of a defined area, and place letters on the other end so that they can be spread out on a table. The leader says a word and the team has to send the correct number of people to the table to spell the word. The first team to correctly find the letters and hold them up (one per person ) in the correct order wins the round.
Use words that relate to leadership or another related topic. A second set of ABC letters can be added to allow different words to be spelled.
All My Friends (submitted by Jennifer Schmidt, Totem Middle School)
Create a circle of chairs in the classroom. Have enough chair so that only one person does not have one. That person stands in the middle of the circle. They start the game by using a sentence starter, “All my friends…” then they will choose a trait that some people who are seated have. For example: “All my friends who have green on”. All of the students will get up and race to another chair, leaving one person standing in the middle of the circle, only to repeat the phrase, with a new trait. The rule is that you MUST get up, and move to another chair if the trait applies to you. You cannot move to the chair next to you.

Gradually the teacher should begin to have students ask deeper questions. Sometimes the students take a long time to warm up to the activity, so some of the traits may be very shallow. It will come, let it work itself out! Have fun!

Avoiding 21 (submitted by Cathy Sork, Ft. Vancouver H.S.)
Either get into a circle or establish a path through a seated group. The group is going to count around the circle up to 21. The person who is forced to say 21 is “out”. Each person can say one, two, or three numbers in a row. For example, 1st Person “1,2”; 2nd Person “4,5,6” 3rd Person ,“7”, etc.
Balloon Bop (submitted by Cathy Sork, Ft. Vancouver H.S.)
Group holds hands and tries to keep a balloon off the ground with the body part that has been called. i.e. head, hands, knees, elbows, etc.
Bear, Mosquito, Salmon (submitted by Lana Yenne, Yelm M.S.)
Bear, Salmon, Mosquito ~ This activity is a more active version of rock, paper, scissors. Two people stand back-to-back and count 1...2...3. On three, they jump to face the other person and perform one of three animals. The Bear (arms raised with claws, making a growl sound) eats the Salmon (hands above head with the palms together, wiggling the hips and body), the salmon eats the Mosquito (hands clasp together in front of body with pointer fingers out front, moving like a stinger, making a buzzing sound), Lastly, the mosquito has malaria and kills the bear.
1. Start with the entire group together and practice each of the three in unison. This not only makes sure that people understand, it also makes people feel more comfortable when everyone in the room looks as silly as they do. For further clarification, have two people do one in front of the group to model.
2. Have the group get into pairs, back-to-back. If there is an odd number of people, it is okay to make a group of three.
3. The leader counts so that all groups do it in unison.
4. Have the groups trade partners and repeat the activity several times.
5. For the last round, have “Championship Bear, Salmon, Mosquito.” The loser sits back in their seat. This gets everyone settled and builds a climate to see who in the room wins the Bear, Salmon, Mosquito Gold Medal!
Big Band Formations (submitted by Cathy Sork, Ft. Vancouver H.S.)
Works best with large groups so that everyone can remain standing. Group forms shape formations (letters, geometric shapes, etc.) so they can be seen above from a bird’s eye view. Debrief how well the group worked together. Pros of this activity is that all group members must be involved. For added talking.
Binocular Partner Tag (submitted by Kristina Johnson)
Partner tag game. No running or walking in normal fashion. In order to move forward, must walk heel-to-toe. All participants must also cup hands up to their face like "binoculars." This limiting of eyesight is what makes it fun! Have each person pick a partner. Pick one of the two to be "it" and when they tag their partner they switch. Can be Parascope Tag with one eye closed and two hands cups into a "parascope."
Body English (submitted by Cathy Sork, Ft. Vancouver H.S.)
In small groups (7–10 people), separate into different rooms or corners of a large room. The small group uses their bodies to spell a word. The word must be four letters and read by an audience from left to right with the group members standing, sitting, or crouching upright. All group members must be included in the word. Given 5–8 minutes to prepare, the groups come back together and spell their words for the others. The goal is to see if other people can read it. It is often good to give groups that task of making two different words. This gives them a better chance at success.
Categories (submitted by Cathy Sork, Ft. Vancouver H.S.)
Begin with everyone seated in a circle. The group performs a clap slap pattern while each person contributes a verse to the chanted category that is selected by the leader. Sample categories might be . i.e. children’s books, countries, colors, shapes, etc. The sharing of the category should come in the cadence of the two snaps.
PATTERN: hands on lap...clap...snap right...snap left...repeat
Flying Questions (submitted as a WACA "It's a Steal" Idea)

Each person needs a sheet of paper (notebook size works) and a pencil or pen. Evryone starts by writing an idea, subject, or problem at the top of the page. Then eacn person folds the paper into an airplane.
1. The leader says "Go" and everyone flies his plane.
2. The leader says "Stop". Each person picks up another's plane, unfolds it, reads it, and writes the first thought that comes to mind.
3. Everyone refolds the airplanes and the leaders signals the "Go" and :Stop" process.
4. This process is repeated everal times.

At the end, each person writes a report (or a song, poem, story, picture) about everything that's written on the last page he/she picked up.)

Jig Hello

The chorus is sung by everyone with clapping. If the person leads has fun with it, dancing along a bit during the chorus, the group will open up and have more fun.It goes...Jig...Hello...Jig, Jig, Hello, Hello
Jig...Hello...Jig, Jig, Hello, Hello
You say "Hey! (insert name of someone in the circle.)"
They say "Hey what!"
You say "Hey! (repeat name)
They say "Hey what, hey what"
(this part should keep the beat. if it doesn't you just get caught up later)
You all say "SHOW us how you jig hello, SHOW (emphasize word to get everyone back on the rythym) us how you jig hello.
They say and do the action "My hands are high (Hands up), my feet are low (Hands down to knees), and this is how I jig hello. (On this last part they do their own dance movement to the beat)
Now everyone repeats. "His/her hands are high (all hands up), his/her feet are low (hands down), and this is how he/she jigs hello. (everyone repeats movement that they did.)Now start over. Clapping also helps to get everyone back to the beat.Jig...Hello...Jig, Jig, Hello, Hello
Jig...Hello...Jig, Jig, Hello, Hello
The last person who did the jig starts by calling the next persons name.

Hey ...(new name) CONTINUE.

Leader of the Band (submitted by Cathy Sork, Ft. Vancouver H.S.)
Provide an energetic song and have the group stand and prepare to be the “Leader of the Band.” Have them take their pencil or pen and use it to conduct the music for a couple of minutes to get the blood pumping. This works best is you carefully select the music. Pick a fast-paced song that is familiar to most people so they know what is coming next to stimulate energetic directing.
Mime Basketball (submitted by Cathy Sork, Ft. Vancouver H.S.)
Small groups of people can play half or full court mime basketball if they are committed to paying attention to who has the ball. This activity can be expanded with a “Globe Trotter Version” where each person does tricks with the basketball before they pass it to someone else. Note: This can work with other sports including single and group jump rope.
My Bonnie (submitted by Cathy Sork, Ft. Vancouver H.S.)
Perform a group sing along to the song “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean...My Bonnie Lies Over the Sea..My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean...So Bring Back My Bonnie To Me...Bring Back...Bring Back...Oh Bring Back My Bonnie To Me To Me... etc. (This is based on the premise that no one looks stupid if everyone looks stupid. :] ) Whenever the group says a word that starts with a “B,” they stand or sit. (Whatever is opposite to the position they are in.) This gets the group moving up and down. Sing it more than once and get faster. Show modifications of movement. Can slightly bend knees up and down in a standing position or actually go in and out of a seated chair. It depends on the conditions of people’s knees.
Other songs that groups can get into for movement depends on the group: “Hokey Pokey”, “Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,”
Paint Brush (submitted by Cathy Sork, Ft. Vancouver H.S.)
Have group members stand. Instruct each person to use their right arm to paint their first name in the air. Next, they should write first, middle and last name in the air. Now, put arms behind backs and write their names with different body parts including nose, toe, elbow, and belly button. Remember to dot every “i” and cross every “t.”
Pass the Sound (submitted by Cathy Sork, Ft. Vancouver H.S.)
Standing in a group the leader starts by throwing an imaginary object and making a sound. The person catching the object has to imitate the tossed sound and throw it to someone new with a new sound. The sound can be anything from animal noises to goofy sounds.
People Machine (submitted by Cathy Sork, Ft. Vancouver H.S.)
Each person creates a simple motion with their body with an accompanied machine sound. One person starts the machine and each group member physically connects to the machine until the entire group is moving and making noise.
Pop Bottle Energizer/Name Game (submitted by Kim Peterson, Lincoln M.S.)
We also play a game with an empty plastic pop liter bottle---students are in a circle with a caller on the outside of circle (could be the teacher) the first name is called by the caller the person in the middle need to "tap" the person with the plastic bottle before they call another persons name. It is a great way to learn names, get the group up and moving, and have fun. It is a favorite of my leadership class.
Shark Song Words (submitted by Cathy Sork, Ft. Vancouver H.S.)

The shark song is a call and response energizer that can work with a large group willing to have fun and be a little zany.

Download Shark Song (Adobe Acrobat PDF file)

Snow Ball Fight (submitted by Cathy Sork, Ft. Vancouver H.S.)
This can kick off an idea share activity. Group members write ideas on pieces of scrap paper and crumble them up into a ball. When it come time to share the ideas, the group has a big paper fight. When finished, people pick up the paper balls, uncrumble, and read the ideas on the paper out loud. Don’t forget to recycle the paper at the end.
Stomp Pattern (submitted by Cathy Sork, Ft. Vancouver H.S.)
Teach group a three-count stomp pattern and do it together. PATTERN: stomp...stomp...clap...stomp...stomp...clap....1...2....3...etc. Then teach the group a four-count stomp. stomp...stomp...stomp...clap...stomp...stomp...stomp...clap...1...2...3...4...etc. Divide the group in half and combine the stomps. (It makes a neat sound). For extra challenge you can count the group off into every other one around the circle. Extension: Have individuals create their own stomp pattern for the group to imitate.
Tell Me a Story (submitted by Cathy Sork, Ft. Vancouver H.S.)
Each member of the group adds a piece to an oral story, leaving it hanging for the next person. For an energizer, small groups can later illustrate the story on white poster paper. This always makes for a good laugh. Extensions of this activity include starting with a goofy picture and asking the group what is happening.
Warm-Up Exercises (submitted by Cathy Sork, Ft. Vancouver H.S.)
This activity calls for a group to do group exercises from a standing position. It is a bit like mime exercises. Count them off together and ham up the physical exsertion.
Start with:
1) 10 Push ups where people stick their arms out in front of them and bring their arms close and extended. Also add one handed push-ups and the kind where you clap in between.
2) 10 sit-ups where people sit in chair by leaning forward. On the count, “Sit up in the chair” and then slouch, etc.
3) 10 Pull ups where arms go above head with hands gripped like you are holding a bar. On the count bring arms down so that imaginary bar going under chin.
4) 10 Deep knee bends where you stand on one leg and bring other leg bent at the knee behind you. Can switch legs.
5) Be creative!
Whoomp ‘um (submitted by Cathy Sork, Ft. Vancouver H.S.)
This can be an energetic name game. The group gets in a standing circle. Each group member puts their right hand into the middle. (Turn sideways to fit more people.) One person starts out in the center. They say the name of one person in the circle. That person then says the name of someone else, passing them the responsibility to say someone else’s name before the person in the middle has time to “Whoop ‘um” by smacking their hand. This causes the person in the middle to be searching and chasing the names, waiting for someone to hesitate long enough for them to smack their hand. When this happens, they trade places. Also, if a person flinches when the get “Whooped,” they are also in the middle.

Back to Top of Page

Copyright 2007, WACA. All Rights Reserved.